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You have decided to undergo a breast augmentation, and now comes the most frequently asked question, “silicone or saline?”
There are a few things to consider when deciding whether to go with silicone or saline implants.
The shell of both silicone and saline implants are made out of silicone. Silicone is a manufactured polymer made out of molecules of silicon, carbon, and hydrogen. It can be liquid, gel-like, or even rubbery. It is used to make breast implants because it can tolerate high heat, has low toxicity, and does not react with any other chemicals.
What are Silicone Implants?
Silicone implants are pre-filled with silicone gel, a thick, sticky fluid that mimics the feel of human fat. Some people may be nervous about choosing silicone implants as they were recalled for being unsafe several years ago. However, since then, a new silicone implant was released in 2006 and is deemed safe.
For women who don’t have a lot of breast tissue, silicone implants are a good option as silicone implants make the breasts look more natural and also give them a natural feel.
Although it is rare, if a silicone implant ruptures, the gel will maintain its structure and is unlikely to spread to other parts of the body. Some women may not even notice a ruptured implant unless there is pain, or the breast look different. The only way to find out if you have ruptured an implant is by getting an MRI.
Women who have silicone implants are recommended to get an MRI of their breasts every three years to ensure they haven’t suffered a silent implant rupture.
What are Saline Implants?
Saline implants differ from silicone implants in the way that they are filled with sterilized salt water. One of the major benefits of saline implants is that they can be placed while empty and then filled after, which allows the surgeon to have complete control over the volume of saline. This ensures your breasts are symmetrical and the right size for your body.
The ability to inflate the saline implants later allows the implants to be tunneled up through the belly button, which reduces the risk of scarring. However the implant is inserted into the body (e.g., under the arm, around the nipple, or along the curve of the breast), there is minimal scarring.
In order to qualify for saline implants, you need to have a significant amount of breast tissue. You may notice rippling around the edges of the breast after the implant has been implanted if you don’t have enough breast tissue.
It is rare for a saline implant to burst, but if it happens, the saline is simply absorbed while the implant deflates.
Different Implant Shapes
Both silicone and saline implants can be round or tear-shaped. Women choose to get tear-shaped implants as they look more like a natural breast, but many women also opt for the round shape as they provide attractive cleavage and fullness.
Round implants are less likely to wrinkle, and they are less noticeable if they shift a bit. Usually, round implants cost less than tear-shaped implants.
Women who choose to get the tear-shaped implant usually do so for a more natural look. Some people believe that the round implant is noticeable to the people around them that they got a breast augmentation, whereas it is less noticeable with the tear-shaped implant.
Tear-shaped implants are more likely to have a textured surface which helps them to stay in place.
Which breast implant is the best?
It is hard to say which implant is the “best” as the wanted results differ from person to person. Both types of breast implants have benefits and drawbacks, and it is ultimately up to the patient and the doctor to decide which would achieve the desired result.
Some differentiating factors to consider include:
Because the implant is empty initially inserted, the size of a saline implant can be adjusted. If you want to change the size of your implants, you can simply book a visit with your doctor and add or remove some fluid.
However, with silicone implants, the size is permanent, and in order to change it, you would have to undergo another surgery to adjust the size of your implant.
The age when a woman can get a silicone or saline implant is different as the two materials (saline and silicone) pose different risks. To get a silicone implant, you must be over 22 years of age, as you have to get an MRI every couple of years to check for potential ruptures.
As frequent MRIs are not necessary for saline implants, the minimum age to get them is 18 years old (in Canada – other countries may differ).
Although the weight of a saline and silicone implant is the same, silicone implants, usually require a larger opening during surgery as they are pre-filled before insertion. A larger opening usually relates to a larger scar, but the scars are still hard to see because of where the openings are made during surgery.
How Beautifi Can Help?
Choosing between saline or silicone implants and determining what size and shape would suit you can be an overwhelming decision to make. Because the implant is empty initially inserted, the size of a saline implant can be adjusted. Speaking with a board-certified plastic surgeon will help you make the best decision and achieve your desired results.